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Thread: Stratification of harstem/softdtem bulrush?

  1. #1

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    I know it requires a cold strat, but I have also heard it takes a double freeze? Also I have heard they need an acid wash, what would I use to do this? Anyone germinated these before and/or have any ideas.
    \"Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.\"
    --P. J. O'Rourke
    GL

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    Soft-stem bulrush is not all that tricky. As far as using GA-3, incredibly I just had a discussion with a friend this evening about Gibberellic Acid. First off, itís a naturally occurring plant hormone. It can improve seed germination but in this particular instance, merely soaking your seed for 24 hours should suffice. That Scirpus validus seed contains certain chemicals that prevent germination until at such point in time as the seed has the proper conditions to germinate. The chemical responsible for inhibiting germination is abscisic acid. You have to get your timing down pat as you would want to remove that at the same time the seed releases its gibarellic acid. When you soak the seed, you basically are washing away the abscisic acid so why bother adding additional hormones.

    There are some who feel that using GA3 is a good thing because the seed will germinate faster which reduces the risk of damping off but the flip side of the coin would be that the seed knows when to germinate on its own and will do so at a time when it is most likely to survive. I am of the school of thought that the seed is much hardier if one does not use GA3.

    This is how I would start that seed- Collect it at the right time. Remove it from the parent plant after it has turned black. Remove the chaffe. Soak it for 24 hours in plain old water. Now cold stratify it in the bottom drawer of your refrigerator for 6 monthsÖ yes, this seed has a 6 month cold stratification requirement. Try to time it so that your seed is able to be pulled out of the frig sometime next May.

    Sow the seed on top of your medium. Medium for this should be a peat/sand mix. I used only peat though and still got a 25% germination rate the first time around. What ever seed doesnít germinate can be put back in the frig for another 6 months and you can try again as occasionally, this is a double dormancy seed. I never bothered and just broadcast the remaining seed as the average germination rate for this seed is 30% and I figured I was close enough.

    Your medium needs to be kept constantly moist. Donít let it dry out. Seed that is going to germinate should do so within about 5 weeks but you might have a few stragglers.

    Great plant! Really glad to see you trying to germinate the seed. Donít get frustrated with the wait. The seed, if fresh, should germinate just fine for you but remember the germination rate is very low on this seed. People who germinate seed for sport like me spew forth swear words because they canít get any to germinate. I think they become impatient and pull it out of cold stratification too early. At least thatís my suspicion. I am germinating some for a friend right now who loves the plant and wants some but said that she has no luck with germinating it. Iíve got about a 25% germination rate again and this seed was from a different source. I really think the trick is to keep it in cold stratification for a full 6 months if not 7.

  3. #3

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    yah, the owner at work says he gets 60%, but wasn't giving up all his secrets to me yet. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img]
    Then again he also knows that I want my own company doing the same thing...
    He said he has something that freezes the seed instantly. then he keeps it frozen for 3 months. lets it thaw and insta-freezes it again and leaves it frozen for a full year... He just didn't tell me anything about acid washing.

    Do you know how to tell the difference betwen hardstem and softstem seed? A kid at work collected it and didn't know which it was. Also got seed for water plant, green bulrush(don't think that is what it is tho, the plant he was showing me it came from, doesn't seem like it was green bulrush, I think it was one of the Trichophorum), and bur-reed.
    \"Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.\"
    --P. J. O'Rourke
    GL

  4. #4

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    I'm not really that great with any type of rush or sedge identification. Grasses really aren't my deal. I have to use two different reference guides to get a decent identification. I grow a lot of these plants but I really need to keep plant tags by them or I am in trouble. Classic deal of they all start looking alike after a while. The seed looks the same to me if that answers your question. I think you're going to have to identify the parent plant. Try the USDA's site. type in the Latin name and that should help.

    Hey, get a hold of that trade secret of getting 60% germination and you and me can retire. Just kidding as there isn't a big demand for these species but we can dream.

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